Five weeks ago a very generous past client of mine, Michele, offered us a free piano. Just so you know, we have been wanting a piano for a lonnnng time. We have been keeping our eyes open for one but hadn’t found the right price yet. So when we got that email, we JUMPED at the opportunity to snag it. She emailed me a photo of it and right away I knew I wanted to paint it. It’s not like I thought it was ugly, I just knew that the dark wood would make the piano a dark shadowy corner in our living room, so I really wanted to brighten it up.
Yea, I know. Paint a piano? I must have been crazy! Yep, I heard that from every paint store employee and pretty much anybody we talked to about it. We actually WERE crazy. It was an INSANE amount of work, very stinky, smelly and dusty, but we were motivated through the whole process and it felt awesome taking a big chance and having it turn out so great!
So here’s the before:
We had already removed the bottom front panel before I could take a proper before shot. (That’s a stuffed animal hanging from the ceiling so we don’t hit the wall when we pull our cars in.)
I will blog the process of how we painted the piano in a separate post because there were NINE MILLION steps, but we did disassemble the piano as much as we could and sanded and painted the pieces separately and then put it all back together once it was all painted and dried. It took five weeks of just about daily work (sometimes with John sanding until 2 AM) from us and our good friend Ken. I’ll break down the cost of materials later too, but for now, let’s check out the AFTER photos! Oh and since my living room make over post hasn’t been posted yet, I couldn’t photograph how the piano looks in the whole room, but I think you get the idea.
Introducing, our buttery yellow piano. You like?
It has a pretty glossy finish thanks to the super stinky oil paint. It’s so nice and smooth. Oh and we polished the brass pieces with Brasso to shine them up. In other news, I found out through all of the painting projects this past month that I’m very chemically sensitive. Both latex and oil paint makes my lower face (my muzzle, if you wish), lips, gums, tongue and throat burn like crazy. So I spent a couple nights sleeping at a friend’s house through this process to keep the burning at bay with each coat. So weird though, right? I’m just glad I don’t have this random disease. (If you know how dramatic I am, you can imagine my panic over this when it first happened and I didn’t realize it was a reaction to the paint.)
The moving pieces all fit and work even after four coats of primer and paint and sanding. Whew! I just can’t set anything decorative on top of it for 30 days while the paint cures. (I really need to get some pictures hung on the wall though…)
The hardest part to tape off was the foot pedals. (They were also polished with Brasso.) They have those little velvet pads on top of them that I had to be careful didn’t get painted stuck shut. Success! The green velvet looks a little weird peeking out, but you’ll have that.
I still need to shine up the brass parts of the legs of the piano and the bench, but I just had to be DONE for a while with this project! I might make a padded bench seat someday. We’ll see.
We adore this piano (though Miles wanted us to paint it green) and for two people who are usually pretty freaked out about projects like this, it was great to see that if you put your mind to something, you really can do it! Nothing like learning that lesson this late in life. wink!
We have starting getting people asking us if we would paint their piano too. I’m still rolling on the floor laughing at the idea of ever painting a piano again! There is no part of us that wants to even see a can of paint in the same room as a piano right now, but I will say that it has really inspired me to consider taking on the beat up chair in our attic that is begging for a new coat of paint. Though I’m not sure my burning mouth paint allergy will work too well with that…
Thanks for tuning in for my before and after. I’ll have to sort through the past five weeks of kiddo photos on my iphone to find the piano painting photos to create a “How To” tutorial of all the steps we did to make this project a reality.
Before I wrap it up, I have to send a HUGE thank you to Michele for making this all possible. We love our new piano and we promise that your childhood piano will have a happy place in our home for years to come. Thanks for paying it forward to a very appreciative music loving family.